Wednesday April 15th

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun, or when you are distracted by the daily drama playing out between us and the Corona virus, or Covid 19 to give it its snappier title. Thankfully my initial panic has reduced to a mild irritation at not being able to go out given my health status; it’s just as well that I am good, well very good actually, at keeping myself busy, amused, entertained. Current activities include knitting cat blanket 2 for elder daughter’s cat and working on a painting of tulips and iris which have now lost their freshness and have contorted themselves into interesting twists and turns, but the basic drawing was already done and there are still some later blooming specimens in the garden as extra reference should I need it.

The top half requires more foliage which will probably be a rich dark red Heuchera then more assorted leaves. I love working in this way, leaving room for change although it can be a bit of a problem if I’m using watercolours, gouache is much more forgiving.

Given the size of the mandala the use of gouache was a given. It’s been a favourite medium of mine since Art student days when just about everything I painted was in a crazy combination of Bengal Rose, Marigold Yellow and violet whose name escapes me. Unlike watercolours which can be capricious in careless hands gouache always behaves itself giving a trouble free, almost, flat surface; and there’s a bonus to be had as a coat of dry paint can, with care and the right choice, take a different colour on top.

The mandala could be called finished but there’s still room for more decoration should I feel the urge to do it. Certainly some of the Indian originals I’ve looked at are like dazzling kaleidoscopes of a colour and pattern.

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